What to Wear to Work
Clothing has a tremendous power over the way we view one another. How a person dresses is a physical expression, a non-verbal communication, and a huge part of the message we want to convey. And yet, for many professionals the question “what to wear to work” is not on the agenda, many don’t take the proper time and consideration when choosing their work attire, and many choose comfort over professional impression. However, looking polished, professional, and competent will help anybody and in any career field to prosper and grow professionally. Therefore, knowing what to wear to work and how to project a professional look is a big step towards a successful career.
What to Wear To Work
- Always consider the professional field you are in. Look around and notice what your colleagues and managers are wearing. Ask if there is certain dress code that the company follows.
- Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have. This will show that you are ready, capable, and ambitious and will create a favourable impression about you.
- Fit is very important. Make sure your pants and skirts are fitted but not too tight and your blazer is fitting well around the shoulder area, as well as the sleeves are the right length.
- If there is Formal Business dress code wear pantsuits or matching skirt and jacket and a solid blouse underneath in a neutral colours (white, cream, beige, taupe, off white, ice blue, pale pink etc.). If the dress code is Business Casual you have a little bit more flexibility – wear dress pants or pencil skirts with blouses, dressy cardigans, or non matching jackets. (see examples of Business Casual and Formal Business attire below). You can also wear patterns and prints, just make sure that whatever you choose is professional and not too flashy or bright.
- Always wear hosiery, and make sure you have an extra pair in your purse or office in case the one you wear runs.
- Your shoes must be in exceptional condition. Invest in new ones frequently and opt for high heels, close toe pumps if possible.
- Choose structured purses versus slouchy ones.
- Wear fine jewellery and avoid anything that is too distracting like bracelets that jingle, earrings that are too long and flashy etc. Invest in a good hand watch.
- Wear dresses if they are well structured and look professional (see some examples below).
- Update your wardrobe at least once a year and constantly add new pieces to your existing work attire.
What not to Wear to Work
- Never wear jeans and t-shirts to work unless you work in a company that has very casual dress code.
- Avoid open toe shoes, slip back shoes, runners, and heavy winter boots.
- Do not wear anything too sexy or revealing (lace tops, mini skirts, spaghetti straps, deep necklines etc.). In general the younger you are the more conservative you should dress.